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Aspinwall Fire Department program to show children ins and outs of firefighting

Jan Pakler | for Trib Total Media
Aspinwall Lt. Robert French and Chief Gene Marsico plan what they will be showing on the upcoming fire fighter for a day program open to children between the ages of nine and 14.

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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Aspinwall Volunteer Fire Department will show local children the ins and outs of being a firefighter.

The department will host a firefighter-exploration program for youths Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fire Chief Gene Marsico said children between the ages of 9 and 14 will learn about different aspects of working with the department.

“They'll get a little taste of what it is to be a volunteer fireman,” Marsico said.

The five stations setup will be — a demonstration with Gage, the department's dog; a fire-extinguisher demonstration; a hose-line station; a safety trailer; and a rescue demonstration.

Participants will learn basic safety and first-aid tips throughout the day, Marsico said.

For older children, the hope is that some might decide to join the department.

Youths can begin to sign up to be a junior firefighter when they are 15. Four people currently serve as junior fire fighters in Aspinwall.

Even if the participants aren't from Aspinwall, they some day could help the borough's neighboring departments.

“It might help our other local departments grab a couple of junior guys, too,” Marsico said.

Patrick Poznick, 15, has been a junior firefighter for about seven months. He has enjoyed his time as a member of the department.

“The guys are really nice down here,” he said. “They all respect you.”

Marsico said the process of joining a fire department can be time consuming. Taking the required classes and finishing training can be easier to schedule and make time for when a person is younger, Marsico said.

“You try to grab them when they're young and get them to stick with you,” Marsico said.

The program costs $5 per child and is limited to 75 participants. Lunch and a T-shirt are included. The registration deadline is Sept. 3. For information, or to sign up, call Marsico at 412-728-4477 or e-mail

Tom McGee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or

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